Young Zamboangueña golfer Ashia Nocum in 2014 USA Junior Golf World Tournament PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 April 2014 15:57

(Manila-based Zamboangueño and proud father Armand Nocum happily informed Pep Talk that his youngest daughter Aishia Nocum placed 2nd Runner Up in the 2014 International Container Terminal Services, In (ICTSI) Junior World Qualifier in the 13-14 years old age category. The Top 3 in this age group bags the chance to join the Philippine delegation to play in the Callaway Junior World Golf Championships in July 15-18 at the Country Club of Rancho Bernardo in San Diego. Here’s the proud Dad’s story.)

It was the last day of the four-day 2014 ICTSI Junior World Championship and my daughter Ashia was vying for a hotly-contested 3 slots to represent the Philippines in the Callaway Junior Golf World Championship in San Diego, California. All the 12 players were good and Ashia and the leading players were almost in a tie.

This was the only advice I can give her: "Anak, all of you seem to be very good golfers. All of you seem to have the same level of skills. The fate of the winner will rest in God's will. Try praying."

And it came to past that in the last two holes, Ashia managed to forge ahead with her closes competitors in the age 13-14 years old category by birdying the 17th hole from a bunker shot and ending the last hole with par to emerge one-over in the last day of the tournament in billionaire Ricky Razon's private golf course, the Country Club in Canlubang, Laguna.

The course is so challenging that adult professional players to include Angelo Que were known to falter and loose big points in the mean green of the Country Club. The golf course happens to be the training ground for ICTSI players playing against Ashia. Their home court advantage and their well-financed training from golf pros that charge up to P5,000 an hour or about P100,000 a month indeed gave them distinct advantage over Ashia.

Still, my daughter prevailed in the game even if she had to take on last year’s Junior Golf World champion and another champion from the Junior Masters in San Diego.

Indeed, you can say that she won in the wings of prayers.

It also helped that all of us – even little boy Arno (Armand’s youngest child) – dropped everything to accompany Ashia even if up to the last day, our hearts were broken in pieces as we saw her struggling to cope up with the excellent skills of her fellow junior golfers.

Although they are of the same age, many of Ashia’s competitors have become better players while we had to force Ashia to stop playing because while she developed her golfing skills early, her maturity, patience, determination and discipline required in the game did not develop early on (please read ).

Ashia is just two years back in the game and last year, she even failed to earn a slot in the 2013 Junior Golf World Championship. And then there is also the challenge of spending limited resources for her golf trainings. In fact, it was only four months ago that we got a good golf pro (trainor) Chris Guerero to train Ashia -- but only on limited period – courtesy of sponsor Mighty Sports.

Thus, with better and continued training, we see Ashia performing better at the Country Club of Rancho Bernardo in San Diego, California. Ashia will join fellow junior golfers to make up the Philippine team to play against the best of the best junior golfers from all over the world in July.

As we prepare Ashia for this big game – and a chance to make the Philippines proud – we thank God for all the blessings given to our children and our family.

Indeed, it was only in Febuary that another big and hard-to-believe blessing came our way with our eldest Arizza beating more 100 best public speakers to earn the chance to represent the Philippines in the English-Speaking Union-International Public Speaking Competition (ESU-IPSC) in London. As a Philippine representative, Arizza will pit herself against good public speakers from 50 countries in May (please read: ).

Win or lose in their respective international contests, we are already proud of our children for doing their own patriotic acts to try to gain honor and pride for our country at such young age. As it is, they are already winners in their own right as they also proudly bring with them their Mindanao roots – most specifically their dad and mom’s home place Zamboanga City and Sulu.

With so much crises hitting our home place, we all – not only our family – deserve some good and hard-to-believe news regarding two Christian and Muslim sisters trying to show that life is great and that God is good!

Via con Dios …

By Dante Corteza

Philippians 4:13. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”